Our heroes, having defeated the party of Reth who had been hunting their Reth “friend”, Azreus, continued toward Remmelath, the Dark Coven stronghold at Nightmare Peak. As they traveled on the main path to the citadel, Mischief alerted the party to yet another small group approaching them. Ducking off the path and hunkering down, they observed Morde Kemnon, the dark necromancer commander, Lucky the worg, and 2 wights passing by, apparently headed to the Reth city. The 2 wights, upon scrutiny, were revealed to be Professor Baumlin, an elven professor from the Tsukai Academy and a specialist in divination and a human wight who bore the crest of the Ardin family – possibly Count Ardin himself. The party of nasty folks proceeded on without noticing our heroes, and they quickly got back on the road to Nightmare Peak.
They made their way up to the “secret entrance” they had learned of by way of a road that wound up the mountain. A steep drop off lay on one side and the mountain on the other. It dead ended at an open area on a ledge, and they managed to open the door to the keep after some guesswork and scrutiny of the magics laid upon the door.
They entered the stronghold and saw a long hallway lit by continual flame torches. 2 doors were to the right, 1 to the left, and dead ahead was in open area containing a circular staircase, a desk, and a bored cultist who wanted to know who had opened the door. Our heroes quickly “got into character” and tried to bluff their way in, with Bel doing his best wight impression and Presley unconvincingly trying to bluff his way in. Zeltais, wearing unfastened shackles, attempted to create a distraction by acting like he was struggling with Orion,who was posing as a cultist guard. Bel moved to Zeltais and acted like he had energy drained Zeltais into submission. Unfortunately, the cultist was suspicious and asked where we were from in Anngelsh. Bel translated, whispering to Presley over the Message spell, and Presley replied in Morethan that he was from Antair. At that point, the cultist became alarmed, as they don’t speak Morethan in where Antair is located. So much for bluffing their way in!
The party quickly killed the weedy little desk clerk. Even though he had managed to cast a shield spell, Presley intimidated him, Mischief stunned him with a color spray spell, Pincer stomped him into yogurt and anyone else close did their best to beat him like a red-headed stepchild. A search of the area revealed a ring of keys and a manifest of shipments and prisoner transfers, so our heroes pocketed the potentially useful intel. The ring of keys opened the doors, our heroes finding the room that had been on the left to contain crates and 4 smaller, special crates – 1 crate of onyx, 1 of magisite, 1 of crafting reagents and 1 full of preserved organs and other nastiness. They dumped the contents of the nasty crate over the side of the mountain and planned to steal the rest for themselves, like any good band of homicidal vagrants aka standard D&D adventuring party.
The last room on the right contained 18 zombie horses, complete with riding tack, so they quickly closed that particular door and went to the last room, finding that it contained small crates, a rack of fine short swords and crossbows, masterwork bolts for the xbows, and assorted cloaks and travel gear. A large glass case contained numerous scrolls, but detect magic and careful scrutiny revealed it to be protected by an alarm spell. A Dispel Magic cast by Orion failed to remove the spell, so the party reluctantly abandoned that looting opportunity, hoping to return to it later.
Securing all the horses but Pincer, the party made their way to the staircase, observing that there was an alarm panel near the landing (and on every landing to follow). The alarm was also beyond the capabilities of the party to disarm, so they proceeded up, with an invisible Mischief scouting ahead.
Levels 2-6 seemed to be full of zombies and skeletons, all standing immobile and ready, and the floor thickness seemed about 4 feet thick.
The 7th floor was a galley/kitchen, and the floor thickness changed to about 3 feet.
Floor 8 was a dining hall, currently unoccupied, with a few zombies cleaning up, probably moving about like demented Roombas.
Floor 9 seemed to be a barracks, with the barracks. It was larger than the first 8 floors and seemed to be on “night mode”.
Floor 10 was a crafting lab, with alchemy gear and potion manufacture featuring. It seemed understaffed.
At floor 11, there were guards at the doors but not at the stairs. The floors/ceilings were estimated to be about 2 feet thick for this level.
The floors seemed more normally-sized again beginning with floor 12, which was the library. The library was double the height of the other rooms and had shelves of books 2 stories high. There was a walkway around the second floor and a balcony upon which one could sit and read tomes of forbidden lore, chuckle maniacally whilst considering world domination or annihilation, or do sodoku puzzles.
The 13th floor was an Altar room with a number of locked rooms and the cells of the special prisoners.
Floor 14 contained more cells.
Floor 15 – 18 had doors on the landings – nothing else is known of them. Probably quarters for the cultists and VIPs.
Floor 19 consisted of the staircase opening onto the roof, with no guards or alarms seeming present. There was also access to the mountain peak by way of this level.